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12th March 2023Equipment & Design / Processes / ResourcesWriter and spirits expert Bernadette Pamplin leads a discussion panel on cool distilling (sometimes known as vacuum, reduced pressure, or rotovap distilling). This technique has long been used in laboratories, but for more than 10 years has also been used by distillers. Whether it is to distil certain botanicals or the entirety of a gin, cool distilling allows producers to capture flavours not available via hot distilling. [...]
6th March 2023Equipment & Design / Processes / Resources / SustainabilityWhat is hydrodistillation and how can it be utilised with rotovap vacuum distillation and gas chromatography to reduce a distillery’s environmental footprint? Ulrich Dyer of Woodlab Distillery is doing incredible work with hydrodistillation. Find out more about how he does it, and the huge sustainability benefits in this talk, filmed for a previous virtual Expo. If you want to find out more you can also read this article in Gin Magazine, written by Bernadette Pamplin. [...]
11th October 2022Blog / Financial / ResourcesAlan Powell is here with your all important 2022 update on duty and licensing. First shown at the Craft Distilling Expo on 7th October 2022, in this video Alan gives the latest info to keep you up to date with this important part of running a distillery. Whilst most presentations will only be available to ticket holders for a while, we will start to leak them out over time to go in our resources section. In Alan’s case however, we thought it would be in everyone’s interest to share this sooner rather than later. [...]
7th September 2022Blog / October 22 / Resources / SpiritsAs the rum category grows, the subcategories within it begin to grow too. Lines are blurred and new categories are formed. It’s difficult to keep on top of things, and although structure is integral, there still needs to be some room allowed for creativity and problem solving. And, it’s well worth considering that categorisation has an impact on consumers and what they’re expecting in that bottle from what’s on the label. It’s a hot topic for sure! In this video from the vaults Pete Holland chairs a wonderful panel to discuss the topic. Let the debate begin! You can join Pete Holland’s masterclass UK Rum, the coming of age, at this years Craft Distilling Expo, on the 6th-7th October 2022. [...]
6th September 2022Blog / October 22 / Resources / SpiritsSensory panels – dedicated groups of tasters – have long been used by large distilleries to help train staff and maintain consistency of products, but they can also be extremely helpful for smaller producers. Panels can help with product development, quality assurance checks, and the exploration of new ingredients. Matthew S.V. Pauley, a sensory expert and Assistant Professor at Heriot-Watt’s International Centre for Brewing and Distilling, will share the benefit of his experience and show you how you can design your own. If you’d like to find out more about Matthews work, you can see his latest research update at this Years Craft Distilling Expo, Thursday 6th-Friday 7th October in London. [...]
27th June 2022Blog / Equipment & Design / Processes / Resources / SustainabilityTypical distillation not only requires a lot of energy, but a lot of water, a significant volume of which is used for cooling and running the condenser before going down the drain. Increasingly, distillers are looking at “closed loop” water systems to help reduce their water usage. These might sound complicated and technical, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Avian Sandercock of Wrecking Coast Distillery in Cornwall will discuss his recent experience and discuss one or two options employed by other distillers. This live Q&A session followed the pre-recorded video talk from our April 2022 Crafdi Conference. [...]
27th June 2022Blog / Equipment & Design / Processes / Resources / SustainabilityTypical distillation not only requires a lot of energy, but a lot of water, a significant volume of which is used for cooling and running the condenser before going down the drain. Increasingly, distillers are looking at “closed loop” water systems to help reduce their water usage. These might sound complicated and technical, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Avian Sandercock of Wrecking Coast Distillery in Cornwall will discuss his recent experience and discuss one or two options employed by other distillers. Pre-recorded video talk from our April 2022 Crafdi Conference. [...]
13th June 2022Blog / Events / ResourcesOn Friday 10th June 2022, the Ginposium was hosted by The Gin Guild at the RSA, London, a beautiful building which made for a very special setting for the day. The Gin Guild kindly me with a press pass Events of this kind are a prestigious opportunity for distillers to meet, network and watch curated talks covering fascinating topics within the industry. It is a widely renowned and respected event and due to this the list of attendees was impressive to say the least! Getting everyone together made for a bubbling hubbub of banter and ideas. And, with 11 talks and 4 networking sessions crammed into the day, there was a lot of thought provoking material to discuss. The event opened with a speech from Pal Gleed, who was recently installed as the Director General at the Gin Guild. He has big shoes to fill, the previous Director General Nicholas Cook was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work, during his ten years of service in the position. That said, Matthew Pauley of Herriot-Watt University took to the stand to share his recent research findings on the sensory understanding of gin, delivering mind boggling science with jovial quips that made it all a little easier to digest. Then, Jo Cook from Buckingham and Surrey Trading Standards brought us up to date with correctly labelling now/low abv gins and liqueurs, essential information to prevent costly mistakes down the line. Matthew Pauley Jo Cook Rachel Sutherland of Warners brought us the first tasting of the day, comparing post distillation techniques. It was interesting to compare spirits diluted in different ways (one for example was diluting in one instance after 14 days, or slightly each day up to 14 days) and the difference it makes to the final profile, which is much more than I had anticipated. I would suggest to distillers that it’s worth playing around with this as you may well find an alternative method that delivers a profile you prefer, that really makes the most of your product. If you are looking at this, feel free to get in touch with Rachel, as she is collecting information on various distilleries for her research. Rachel Sutherland Rachel Sutherland After the first coffee and networking session we returned to the room for the second segment. The wonderful Kathy Caton from Brighton Gin, and Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillery, both discussed routes into a new gin, either distilling yourself or contract distilling. Kathy built Brighton Gin from the ground up and has a wealth of information to share, and Charles is held in the highest of esteem in the industry and has possesses a unique knowledge built over generations. There were very good points made on both sides and humour shared between them that made the talk as entertaining as it was informative. Kathy Caton Charles Maxwell Chris Pitcher of Redburn then stepped up to discuss the ‘gindustry’, that is gin as a business, delivering insightful facts and figures for over the last decade and what we can expect in the future. Seeing sales mapped out like helped absorb a lot of information! Then our very own David T Smith took to the stage to deliver our second tasting of the day, which included some fantastic offerings like the divine Haymans Exotic Citrus Gin with a beautiful mandarin sweetness and Citadel Cornichon Gin, with just a touch of cornichon which was melded in marital bliss against it’s gin base. Chris Pitcher David T Smith After a delicious lunch and more networking, we returned to the room for the third session, which began with Liam Matthews from The Health And Safety Consultancy Limited, delivering an informative talk on health and safety around distilleries, an essential part of running a distillery, followed by David Pool from, talking at length about AI and how utilising it to analyse data can revolutionise your business. It is quite remarkable how far this technology has come and the potential applications that can be hugely beneficial. Liam Matthews David Pool After the third coffee and networking session, we returned to the room for the final instalment of talks. Ben Marston of Puddingstone Distillery taught us about coriander and it’s complex and varying profile through sample tasting, including his gin, Ultrasonic Gin, made using ultrasonic vibration to extract flavour, meaning that only 40% botanicals are needed. Another included was a fantastic gin called Crossbill, which I have to mention, as it is made with just juniper and rosehip, not a coriander seed in sight! It’s a great gin and it did raise the question of how essential coriander is, especially with the potential supply chain issues resulting from the current global issues of climate and war. Finally, Craig Harper from Fever Tree delivered a well received and enthusiastic talk on the history of Fever Tree, the successes, and how working together will lead to a more lucrative future, a sentiment that I very much believe in. Ben Marston Craig Harper With the final talk done and dusted, it was time for a tipple with G&T networking to finish the day, kindly provided by Fever Tree. It was great fun to work the room chatting to the crowds…and I certainly managed to squeeze a lot of fun into that last hour and a half! I met all manner of fantastic people who I will certainly be staying in touch with. We’re blessed to have such a vibrant and friendly industry. The way people work together and the support network offered to each other is a wonderful thing. These moments of interaction when sparks are flying in conversation are precious, and any opportunity to bring people together is a good thing. If we have learnt anything in the last few years, it’s important to make the most of that. Congratulations to The Gin Guild for another fantastic event, these events are essential to the industry and it’s growth. If you’re a Gin Guild member who missed out then don’t worry. The event was recorded and will be available for members in the near future. There will be another event next year…but if you need your fix of talks and face to face networking before that, then check out our Craft Distilling Expo in October at the Old Truman Brewery, London. We have supplier exhibition, talks, panel discussions and masterclasses and networking throughout. You can find out more about that and get tickets here. And my advice would be to move quickly, as we’re running an early bird discount. [...]
9th May 2022Blog / Competitions / Events / ResourcesThe Global Spirits Masters presents: THE GIN MASTERS 2022 Entry deadline: 23rd May 2022 Sample deadline: 26th May 2022Results published: July 2022 “Back for 2022 and bigger than ever! Last year The Gin Masters broke all records as the biggest competition in the history of The Global Spirits Masters. With more and more outstanding gin brands joining the fun, it is only fair that we host this competition again and start our search to find the best gin of 2022. Categories are extensive and cover all of the main gin styles including Old Tom, cask-aged and London Dry, as well as flavoured gin, pink gin, gin liqueurs – and more!“ “Silver, Gold and Master medals will be awarded in each category. The Master winners will then be judged for the overall title of Gin Taste Master 2022.” About The Global Spirits Masters “Launched in 2008, The Global Spirits Masters rates and rewards excellence in spirits production, giving brands key differentiation in a crowded market. Judging is divided into 21 separate competitions to ensure each spirit category is given the utmost attention by specialist judges. The Global Spirits Masters is unique in its exclusive use of completely independent expert judges, including journalists, retail buyers, bartenders and educators.” “The results of each competition are published in The Spirits Business magazine, which boasts a monthly global circulation of 13,000 copies, guaranteeing medal winners are seen by a truly international and industry-focused audience.” Contact: For more information about the Global Spirits Masters and to hear about other upcoming competitions, please contact:Rhiannon Morris+44 (0)20 7803 [...]
3rd May 2022April 21 / Blog / Equipment & Design / Materials / Past Events / ResourcesKeeping a Lid on It – Vital Considerations for Reliable for Bottling and Closures with Rosie Milsom. The Head of Global New Product Development at Atom Brands, Rosie Milsom, discusses the often forgotten issues that can arise with bottles, bottling, and closures. From head space to tamper seals and integrity of closures, all will be discussed here. [...]
23rd March 2022April 21 / Equipment & Design / Financial / Past Events / Processes / Resources / UncategorisedResearch & Development Tax Relief for Distilleries – Are you claiming? Tax Breaks Available To The Distillery World Karen McFadden, Associate Director at Catax, will be talking to you about this tax incentive – Research & Development Tax Relief (R&D) – and how it fits into the alcohol industry. Karen will tell you what it’s all about, how you can become eligible to claim for it, and why so many distilleries are missing out on this fantastic break. She will also talk through some client examples, which should help you understand if this is a topic worth exploring further. *Legal Disclaimer – The views expressed in this video are not necessarily those of the Crafdi Online Conference or Craft Distilling Expo. Individuals must seek their own legal, financial and tax advice from a qualified professional before making any decisions. The Craft Distilling Expo accepts no liability.* [...]
17th March 2022Blog / Events / ResourcesThe results of IWSC 2022 were announced this week. It was another record breaking year of spirit submissions, all seeking medals and feedback from the competition’s vast collection of experienced spirit judges. Having judged at the awards myself, I can say how difficult it is to get a gold medal, let along gold outstanding. Some of the spirits could be judged unanimously by the panel, but in some instances, a spirit could divide a panel and that conversation to bring the panel into alignment can take a lot of time and patience. It’s very important that each spirit is given it’s fair shake. Divisive spirits are discussed to ensure that each judge is taking into account all the information that is available to them at the time, be it ideas of how a botanical is being used, how the flavour is working overall, to any kind of stylistic effort and how it all works within the category. There is a lot to consider before settling on that final mark. Huge congratulations to all the winners! IWSC Results [...]
14th March 2022Blog / Resources / SpiritsPremiered April 21 David T Smith catches up with Angus Lugsdin from Salcombe Distilling Company to discuss their two rums. Salcombe Rums are available to be purchased here: Instagram @salcombegin [...]
14th March 2022April 21 / Blog / Materials / Past Events / Processes / ResourcesOverview of Rum and Rhum Production with Lallemand This presentation reviews the production of Rhum Agricole (made from fresh Cane juice) and Rum (made from molasses). Robert will discuss the impact yeast strains have on fermentation, how distillation can influence aromatic profiles and finally will review aging and the effects of casks. [...]
14th March 2022April 21 / Blog / Materials / Past Events / Processes / ResourcesA New Way to Sour Mash Intentional Inoculation of Lactobacillus in Grain-based Fermentations Abstract: Yeast fermentation is the driving force behind alcohol creation and the production of spirits in our distilleries. They form the ethanol, as well as the complex flavors and aromas we have come to love. However, bacteria have always played a large role in this process as well, intentionally and unintentionally, historically and in modern distilleries. We have been investigating the idea of intentional bacterial inoculations, alongside standard yeast pitches, to create new and exciting flavor profiles and fermentations. These yeast-bacterial co-fermentations have shown a lot of promise as a new, highly controllable/reproducible method for sour mashing at the craft scale. In this webinar, we will investigate the effects this has on the fermentation, as well as the resulting spirits’ profile and maybe some new and unique ways we can play with this new tool. [...]
14th March 2022April 21 / Blog / Events / Past Events / ResourcesOne from last years April Online Event, but always helpful to understand the power of a social media event. Sarah Miller (Gin a Ding Ding) founder of #ginadaymay joins David T Smith to discuss the concept, innovation and grown of #ginadaymay and how distillers and the public can get involved. [...]
14th March 2022April 21 / Blog / Equipment & Design / Past Events / ResourcesA real cork(er) and other closures – an introduction to Rankin Brothers. Join Jim Rankin for a talk about the company that has been providing bottle closures for nearly 250 years. Jim will also be taking a closer look at issues and solutions around cork taint. [...]
14th March 2022April 21 / Blog / Events / Past Events / ResourcesCustodian of World Gin Day, Emma Stokes (GinMonkey), will share some of the exciting things that are going on for World Gin Day 2021 (12th June 2021) and how gin brands can participate and use this rather festive day to engage with consumers. Now in its second decade, World Gin Day has gone from strength to strength and even with recent challenges it continues to be a great force for all things juniper. [...]
14th March 2022April 21 / Blog / Past Events / Resources / SustainabilitySustainability in distilling is of increasing importance and it goes beyond solar panels and wind turbines; for many brands, the packaging of their spirits accounts for around 30% of their total carbon emissions. Our team of experts will discuss eco-packaging in detail in this feature-length panel, including topics such as the use of sustainable material, managing the energy expelled in production, transport, packaging reuse and recyclability. Panel includes: Rosie Milsom – Atom Labs / Atom Brands Joel Harrison – Caskstrength Creative Max Chater – Victory Distillery Jim Rankin – Rankin Brothers ~Nolan Kane – Allied Glass 00:10 Introductions 02:01 Sustainability does anyone care? 04:10 Why is it important? What does it mean? 08:50 Natural Cork 11:50 Sustainability as a Core Value 17:28 Aluminum Cans 20:40 Recycling 25:00 Return and Refill 27:50 Glass Bottles 33:10 Tolerance of defects – being less wasteful 38:02 Local sourcing 39:25 Demand for sustainability push or pull? 41:00 End of life for packaging / recycle / reuse 55:40 Can packaging ultra-luxury spirits be sustainable? 1:08:40 Closing Remarks [...]
11th March 2022April 21 / Blog / Materials / Past Events / ResourcesWhere do you start with enzymes? It’s an important question that makes a huge difference to you final product. Learn everything you need to know with this video from our April 21 Online Conference, ‘Enzymes As Processing Aids In Distilleries with Dr. Prashant M Bapat’. [...]
8th March 2022April 21 / Materials / Past Events / ResourcesOver a dozen ethanol types are used in beverages in the UK. In this talk Bert Albrecht of Ethimex and our Joe Barber will explore the different types of GNS, their main characteristics and their uses. We’ll also give some insight in global Ethanol sourcing, where it is produced and how it is put to use. Ethanol-water is a particular mix and we will explain how this affects the distillation process and how ethanol behaves when diluted. We’ll also analyse a typical Technical Spec Sheet and explain the different quality levels of ethanol and why this is important to a distiller. Finally we’ll also have a look at what to do with Ethanol waste and how it could reduce your carbon foot print. This Live Q&A was recorded on 16th October 2020. [...]
6th March 2022April 21 / Equipment & Design / Past Events / ResourcesJoin Scott Allen and David T Smith in this introduction to Allen Associates and a discussion on some of the key considerations when designing a distillery. Scott Allen has a wealth of knowledge in everything you need to think about when designing your distillery, from the obvious to the not so obvious! This is a must watch for anyone considering setting up a distillery. And, if you already have, it’s still a good watch. There might be something you’ve overlooked! [...]
26th February 2022Awards / Resources / Rum of the Year / SpiritsChair of Judges Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack and competition organiser David T Smith discuss (and taste through) the results of the 2020 Rum of the Year and discuss their thoughts about the current state of the UK rum scene as well as what 2021 holds. 0:00 Start 3:00 Why Rum of the Year? The Categories 11:50 – Unaged Rum of the Year – Unconventional Distillery – Opus 20:30 – Aged Rum of the Year – Cotswolds 28:05 – Blended Rum of the Year – Isle of Wight Distillery – HMS Victory Rum 34:35 – Botanical Rum of the Year – English Spirit Distillery – Sir Ranulph Fiennes Great British Rum 46:00 – Spiced Rum of the Year – Portsmouth Distillery – Cinnabar 50:03 – Flavoured Rum of the Year – Loaded Spirits – Greedy Fox (Honeycomb and Caramel) 55:00 – Concluding Remarks (and a dreadful cracker joke) [...]
26th February 2022Awards / Resources / Rum of the Year / SpiritsChair of Judges Peter Holland (The Floating Rum Shack) and competition organiser David T Smith (Summerfruitcup / Rum of the Year) discuss some of the white rums entered in the competition and the white rum category in general. [...]
26th February 2022Awards / Resources / Rum of the Year / SpiritsChair of Judges Peter Holland (The Floating Rum Shack) and competition organiser David T Smith (Summerfruitcup / Rum of the Year) discuss the emerging category of Botanical rums. this was a new category for Rum of the year and six varieties entered. The talk covers questions such as “what is botanical rum?” as well as a tasting through some great examples. 0:00 Start 3:30 What is Botanical Rum 06:15 Salcombe Whitestrand 12:00 Scratch Botanical Rum 19:20 Portsmouth’s Forum Garden Rum 25:30 Brixton Distillery’s Market Row 31:08 Unconventional Distillery with Pioneer 38.17 English Spirit Distillery with Sir Ranulph Fiennes Great British Rum 45:00 Mixing with Botanical Rums and General comments about UK Rum industry [...]
26th February 2022Blog / ResourcesDid you know we have a YouTube channel? All of the videos you’ve been watching on this site are available on there, plus many more! Most of the virtual conference talks have and will be uploaded over time, as well as some of the talks that we are able to record from our live in person shows. And, there are other one off features, such as interviews and tastings with distillers. Essentially, our YouTube channel is a great place for education, so why not pay a visit? Visit our YouTube channel [...]
26th February 2022Blog / Resources / SustainabilityEnvironmental Sustainability is a prominent concern for most of us. What are distillers to make their processes more sustainable? Join this fantastic panel made up of winners and high commended from The Gin Guide Environmental Sustainability Awards 21. Andy of Shed 1 Distillery, Sian of The Gower Gin Company, Sam of Maidstone Distillery, Alex of North Point Distillery and Phil of Tarbraxus Distillery, join me to talk through what they’re doing that made them winners. With a view to cover all perspectives, we discuss everything from bottles to botanicals, from closed loop systems to in house shredding. This is a must see video for any distillery looking to improve it’s environmental sustainability. [...]
25th February 2022October 21 / Past Events / Processes / ResourcesThis talk, with David T Smith and the incredible Rachel Sutherland of Warners Distillery, was a an eye opening event. The testing saw participants blind tasting two liquids side by side and having to guess what the difference was. One example that really got the crowd excited was the comparison between a spirit that had come off the still and been diluted down to 40% abv in one go, and the other, the same spirit off the still, that had been diluted slowly over a week, eventually reaching 40% abv. Tasting side by side like this, the group found that there was a very obvious difference, with the one being diluted slowly being rounder and well integrated. Although this meant a smoother spirit overall, there was some discussion in how it also lost a little of it’s character. [...]
24th February 2022April 21 / Blog / Events / Past Events / ResourcesSpirits competitions can have a major impact on a distillery or brand’s public awareness, but what should you, as a distiller, expect from a competition? How can they help you? What are judges looking for in a spirit and why do certain spirits consistently do well? How does judging typically work? Who are the judges? Our panel of seasoned judging professionals were on hand to answer questions. Jon Hillgren – Hernö Gin, a multi-award winning gin Veronika Karlova – International Spirits Judge Tobias Gorn – International Spirits Judge Bernadette Pamplin – International Spirits Judge Eric Zandona – Director of Judging at the American Distilling Institute David T Smith – International Spirits Judge Competitions American Distilling Institute Judging of Craft Spirits International Wine and Spirits Competition World Drink Awards (Paragraph Publishing) Spirits Masters (Spirits Business) San Francisco World Spirits Awards International Spirits Challenge The Gin Guide Awards [...]
22nd February 2022Blog / Resources / SpiritsOur own Bernadette Pamplin interviews Dunnet Bay Distiller’s Martin Murray for her website The interview is part of a collaboration for International Scottish Gin Day and Martin talks about the much love Rock Rose Gin in it’s various forms, as well as tasting through the products, the history of Dunnet Bay Distillers and exciting things in the pipeline. [...]